Gripopedia – Kill the Blond and Strike the Redhead

Before you call the cops or think that I’d kill blondes and cause harm to redheads, let me explain what these terms mean in the context of lighting.

Kill:To kill is to turn off a light fixture or “kill the power” to that particular light fixture.

Strike: This term is has two meanings on a film set.

1. It is used when something is to be dismantled or removed from set. When they say, “Strike the set”, they mean to clear the set taken from the Middle English term striken “to cross out”

2. It is also used when turning on a lighting fixture taken from the term “strike a match” to create light. Some lighting fixtures don’t have “hot restrike” capability such as HMI’s with magnetic ballasts. This means that you have to wait for them to cool down completely before you are able to power them up again.

Redhead: This is the slang term used to describe an open faced (no lens) 0.65 – 1K (650 – 1000 Watt) lighting fixture.

Redhead 1K Open Faced Lighting Fixture

Redhead 0.65K – 1.0K Open Face

Blond: This is the slang term used to describe an open faced (no lens) 2K (2000 Watt) lighting fixture.

Blonde 2K Open Face

Blonde 2K Open Face

They get their names because of the color of their housings. A redhead is usually a bright orange red color and a blonde, you guessed it, is yellow in color. They have been manufactured by many different lighting companies over the years such as Photon Beard and Ianiro.

So the only result from killing a blonde or redhead is actually saving electricity!

Both Mole-Richardson and Arri have their equivalents of the 0.65K-1K and 2K open face lighting fixtures. But in Mole-Richardson’s case they are both their signature red color. In Arri’s case they are both their signature blue color. 



Gripopedia – The C-47

C-47, Clothespin


The C-47, or common wooden clothespin is probably the lightest weight and most inexpensive “clamp” you will ever find on set. The primary function of C-47’s is to attach gel filters to the barn doors of hot lights. Wood is a good insulator and doesn’t conduct heat very well so they are perfect for this application whereas metal would easily transmit heat and plastic would melt.

Why C-47’s you ask? Well there are several myths behind the naming of such a normal piece of equipment.

One theory states that they are incredibly versatile just like the Douglas C-47 Skytrain military aircraft. Another theory states that producers at Hollywood studios hated to spend good money on something so basic as a wooden clothespin, so they were renamed C-47’s to disguise their identity so they wouldn’t be rejected by the producer as “unnecessary”. Lastly, it was said that the storage bin where they stored the clothespins was labeled, “C-47” and the name stuck.

They are also referred to as 47’s, pegs (as in wooden pegs) and bullets or ammo because gaffers and grips would clip dozens of them to their utility belts giving them the appearance of a gunslinger from the Wild West.

So the next time you are on a film set or talking to industry pros, you can be one of the cognocente (people in the know) and call wooden clothespins by their true Hollywood name, C-47.